This is for anyone who is interested in the volunteer work that Tara and I are currently doing in Thailand. When we were searching for volunter groups we had a hard time finding reliable volunteer organizations. I can definitely recommend Mirror to anyone interested in doing volunteer work in Thailand.
I'll interrupt the memories of Myanmar today to tell you about our current life at The Mirror Foundation. We have just finished up our 3rd week here, and have been living quite comfortably here. For the past few months we have been moving from town to town, country to country, always meeting new people. It has been relaxing to stay in one place for awhile and share our free time with some great people.
Mirror is a big, happy commune set in the middle of a mountain village outside ChiangRai, Thailand. There is a Thai chef here who makes us 3 great meals every weekday. During the daytime we do a variety of activities including classes for children ranging from 3 to around 14 years old, conversational classes for Thai adults (staff members of the Mirror Foundation), general cleaning and maintenance of our home here, and other manual labour projects.
There are around 25 volunteers living here currently, coming from Australia, the UK, Canada, America, and Japan. Since there are so many volunteers here right now we have a lot of free time during which we can plan lessons, help take care of the children living at the commune, help the chef prepare meals, or play games. Every day when the children from the surrounding village finish school they come here to play sports with us (I've been practicing soccer so I can impress Koji and Kris when I get back to Japan!).
The Mirror Foundation has a wide variety of projects aimed at helping the hilltribe people. Most of their problems stem from the fact that the Thai government does not recognize the hilltribe people as Thai citizens even though they have lived here for many generations. Thus, they are not entitled to citizenship rights such as education and healthcare. The volunteers here help run the free schools set up by Mirror, and help teach the Thai staff English so that they can better interact with people around the world to raise funds and educate people about the issues here.
If you have any more questions about the Mirror Foundation or volunteering here please check the websites below or just ask me!
Mirror Homepage (available in English, Thai, and Japanese):
The following links can be reached from the homepage, but if you want a shortcut...
History of the Mirror Foundation:
Current projects of the Mirror Foundation: